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The early Dow-Jones news bulletins were basically hand-written notes about the financial news of the past hour, and got their nickname "flimsies" from the flimsy manifold tissue paper they were written on. Young runners then delivered them to brokers and businessmen, who were eager to pay $5 per month to keep up with the latest business gossip.

Flimsies were a familiar sight on Wall Street, going back several decades, and produced using carbon paper. Typically a clerk, with an ivory-tipped stylus, could generate 20 flimsies at a time (up to 24 if pressing hard). But a new stylus, created by Charles Bergstresser while working at The Kiernan News Agency, increased this number to 35.

In 1885, their hand-made flimsies were replaced with printed white slips.


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